In 2014 fans were treated to plenty of exciting fights, but there were a slough that didn’t actually come to fruition. Below I give you my take on the top 5 fights that didn’t happen in 2014, including a handful of honorable mentions.
5. Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
The two long-time rivals coached TUF Brazil 3 together and were expected to square off on a number of occasions. The drama continued when the show began airing and their was a heated confrontation. In the end, the two never fought, due to both having drug testing problems — Silva failing to submit an application and Sonnen failing two random tests.
4. Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
UFC 173 was the expected event for Weidman vs. Belfort the first time, the Brazilian withdrew from the bout. After a title defense against Lyoto Machida, Weidman was then once again matched up with Belfort at UFC 181 in December. The champ suffered a broken hand and if all goes to plan, we now finally have the LONG anticipated duel set for UFC 184 in February.
3. Conor McGregor vs. Cole Miller
While the match-up wasn’t the most intriguing by fight standards, McGregor vs. Miller was a heated war of words. Following Miller’s UFC Fight Night 30 victory over Andy Ogle, he made it clear he wanted to beat up McGregor — “This is my 15th fight in the UFC. I’m over here looking at this guy – I know a show pony when I see one. And that’s what Colin, Conor, whatever his name is… I know that’s what he is.” McGregor responded and the UFC set up the fight for UFC Fight Night 46. Unfortunately Miller pulled out with a thumb injury and the bout was cancelled.
2. Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao
The UFC Bantamweight Championship was supposed to be unified at UFC 169 on February 1, as Dominick Cruz was expected to return from an injury layoff against interim champ Renan Barao. A groin tear forced Cruz out of the bout and Urijah Faber stepped in. With Barao winning, he was declared the undisputed 135-pound champion.
1. Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2
The fight of the year from 2013 was easily one of the most anticipated rematches in 2014. Jones and Gustafsson were expected to face off at UFC 178, however a training injury forced the Swede out of action. With Gustafsson injured a slough of fighters continued to rise in the 205-pound division, including current number one contender Daniel Cormier. Here’s to hoping we get to see a second match-up between Jones and Gustafsson in 2015.
Honorable Mentions: Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon, Gilber Melendez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ian McCall vs. John Lineker, Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone vs. Bobby Green